France's BEA to Investigate Incident Involving Emirates A380

France's BEA has launched an investigation into an incident involving an Emirates A380 and possibly a drone at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport.



August 25, 2023

DALLAS — France's Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) has launched an investigation into an incident involving an Emirates (EK) Airbus A380 at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport (NCE).

The incident occurred during the approach to the airport, as the flight crew heard an abnormal noise and felt slight vibrations after switching to CONF 1. Despite the issue, the crew continued the approach and landed safely.

Upon inspection, it was discovered that the upper part of slat number 2 on the right wing was severely damaged. The aircraft, registered as A6-EOM, arrived at NCE on August 18, 2023, from Dubai International Airport (DXB). Its return flight to Dubai was subsequently canceled due to "technical reasons."

An EK spokesperson stated that engineers found damage to a slat in the right wing and that the aircraft would remain on the ground for further assessment. Safety is the airline's top priority, and it will not compromise on it.

The Airbus A380 eventually left NCE and arrived back at DXB on August 22, 2023. The aircraft, with the registration A6-EOM, remains on the ground at DXB as of now.

Preliminary reports suggested that the aircraft may have impacted a drone during the approach. However, the BEA has not provided specific details about the nature of the damage to the slat. The French investigators classified the damage as "substantial," but fortunately, there were no injuries reported among the passengers and crew.

AI illustration. Prompt: Airways

Drones Near Airports

The penalties for drone operators who cause a collision with an aircraft can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the incident. Here are some potential penalties:

  1. Liability: If a drone causes a midair collision with a manned aircraft, the drone operator can be held liable in the same manner as the operator of a manned aircraft. Liability may include compensation for damages to the aircraft, injuries to passengers or crew, and any other losses resulting from the collision.
  2. Criminal Charges: In cases where the drone collision is intentional or involves reckless behavior, criminal charges may be filed against the drone operator. This can include charges such as endangering aviation safety, reckless endangerment, or even terrorism-related offenses, depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the incident.
  3. Civil Lawsuits: The parties affected by the drone collision, such as the airline, passengers, or crew, may file civil lawsuits seeking compensation for damages. These lawsuits can be brought against the drone operator as well as any other parties deemed responsible, such as manufacturers or distributors of the drone.
  4. Regulatory Penalties: Drone operators are subject to regulations and guidelines set by aviation authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. Violations of these regulations, such as flying in restricted airspace or failing to comply with safety protocols, can result in penalties, fines, or the suspension of the operator's drone license. The exact dollar value of the proposed civil penalty (fine) varies significantly depending on the severity of the violation(s) and the extent of the illegal drone flying.
  5. Imprisonment: In some jurisdictions, drone operators who cause a collision with an aircraft may face imprisonment if they are unable to pay the fine.

Featured image: A6-EVH, EMIRATES AIRBUS A380-800, KLAX LAX. Photo: Yifei Yu/Airways. Article source: